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Top Finalist Pass Looks Back on Dream Season

Tuesday, 22 February 2022

It was really no surprise that Kevin Pass reached the Top (Box) championship round of the 2021 International Hot Rod Association (IHRA) Summit SuperSeries World Finals.

When you take everything into account, Pass is a veteran bracket racer who focuses on having the best-prepared car on the track. Add in his home track of Brainerd Motorsports Park has seen some of the toughest competition in all of drag racing the last couple of years.

Pass, 47, is a gifted mechanic, the owner-operator of a transmission shop where he has worked since he was a teenager. Over the years, the cars and tracks have changed, but his love of racing has remained as strong as ever.

He started racing at the now defunct Southeast Dragway in his hometown of Dallas, Georgia with a 1949 Chevy truck. Now, he races a 2012 Racetech dragster with a 584-cubic inch Steve Schmidt built engine. No matter the machine, he’s always working to improve.

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“We try to make sure we have the best of the best on the car,” he said. “It really bailed me out at times. It’s been an awesome car. Winning the track championship and our run at the World Finals, it was a dream season.” 

Brainerd Motorsports Park was already a challenge for the racers. Then, COVID-19 hit and it was one of the first tracks to open. Racers from all over flocked to the North Georgia track. Once they saw what a nice place it was, many stayed. Pass explained it’s not a track where one driver is going to run away with a championship.

“The competition at Brainerd is the best there is out there,” he said. “The people at the track are great, and when you go to that starting line, there are heavy hitters that race there. We won the championship and only won one race. That’s how brutal the competition is. It’s not a track where you’re going to go dominate.”

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He’s not the only member of the family who races at Brainerd. His daughter, Chloe, has raced Junior Dragsters at BMP for the last two seasons. This year, she will face even faster competition.

“This year, she moves up to the 8.90 class,” he said. “She’s my world and that’s going to be my focus. She’s done really well. She was in an 11.90 car and finished seventh in the track points. It was very impressive because Brainerd has a great junior dragster program.”

Pass explained the whole family enjoyed last October’s trip to the IHRA Summit SuperSeries World Finals. Kevin immediately found a new friend in 74-year-old George Simpson, a Knoxville, Tenn., driver who ended up beating Pass in the final round.

“We parked next to George Simpson and our families enjoyed being around each other all week,” he said. “George and I hit it off. The disadvantage being next to him, I saw he was spot-on all day. I knew I had my work cut out for me in the final round.

“The finish, I knew I was there. We both ran it out with a double break-out, but he won by a touch more. But, what a great guy he is.”

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They had each raced at the other’s home track. Simpson had made visits to Brainerd and Pass participated in the old Six-Shooter Series which took him to Knoxville Dragway. After their friendship formed at the World Finals, they’ve talked about meeting up and racing more together.

Beyond the racing, Pass’ wife and daughter ended up assisting Simpson’s wife who had a fall before racing started at the World Finals. To Kevin, it was a great example of what IHRA racing is all about.

“We ended up being like a family over a weekend,” Pass said. “That family atmosphere, I love that at our home track. We’ve gone to different tracks, raced for different sanctioning bodies, but once we got involved with IHRA, that’s where we’ve raced religiously.

“IHRA goes above and beyond for the racers, and we appreciate it.”

Last modified on Tuesday, 22 February 2022

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Summit Team Finals Midwest - Eddyville Raceway Park
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Thursday, September 8th - Sunday, September 11th
Summit Team Finals Division 3 - Dragway 42
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Summit Team Finals Division 5 - US 131 Motorsports Park
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Summit Team Finals Division 4 - Xtreme Raceway
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Friday, September 23rd - Sunday, September 25th
Summit Team Finals Division 2 - Holly Springs Motorsports
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Thursday, September 29th - Sunday, October 2nd

 

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